Zane Richard Frisbie was sentenced to 60 years in prison for the rape of a Helena group home resident who was deaf, blind and unable to speak.
The victim was an elderly resident of a group home operated by West Mont, where Frisbie worked as a janitor. Court documents say he quit his job on the spot after the group home manager caught him trying to rape the woman in July 2019.
Frisbie was charged with sexual intercourse without consent, which carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years and maximum of 100 years in prison. He entered an Alford plea, meaning he did not admit guilt but acknowledged prosecutors had enough evidence for a conviction.
Lewis and Clark County District Court Judge Mike McMahon sentenced the 57-year-old Frisbie based on the "reprehensible" nature of the crime. Frisbie will be eligible for parole after 15 years, when he is 72. If Frisbie is ever released, he will be required to register as a sex offender. McMahon also waived Frisbie's fines because he has no money.
Frisbie will receive time served for the past year he has spent in jail.
McMahon said there is a great need to deter this type of behavior and to protect vulnerable individuals like the victim from people like Frisbie. Although, McMahon did say he believes that Frisbie has accepted responsibility for his actions.
"This is a human being who had no ability whatsoever to protect herself," McMahon said. "This court sentence will make sure vulnerable people are protected from Mr. Frisbie."
A pre-sentence investigation found Frisbie to be a level one sex offender. This means that Frisbie is unlikely to re-offend. A psychosexual evaluation found that Frisbie should go through sex offender treatment for his behavior.
The defense recommended a 50-year sentence with 40 years suspended. Frisbie agreed to remain on probation and parole for the remainder of his life. The defense said his only concern was his ability to see his grandchildren.
County Attorney Leo Gallagher said he simply didn't know what sentencing recommendation to provide to the court. Gallagher said what took place was "horrifying," but conceded that Frisbie had taken responsibility for his actions.
Gallagher did say he believed Frisbie should be on probation for the remainder of his life.
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